Perfect combo cookies, that combine the buttery shortbreads with delicious jam.
Yield:14 large cookies 1x
550g (4 cups or 19.4 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
455g (4 sticks or 16 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
155g (1 cup or 5.5 oz) powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
310 grams (11 oz) strawberry jam
In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt, set aside. In another bowl, or bowl of your mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (if doing by hand, cream it with a spatula first, then beat with a whisk), for about 1 minute. Add sugar and whisk until smooth, lastly stir in the vanilla bean paste.
Gently stir in the flour mixture until incorporated. Split dough into 3-4 portions, flatten each into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until the dough is firm, for about an hour or more.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F), with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Take 2 disks out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough about 6mm (1/4 inch) thick. Dip cookie cutters into flour then cut out large circles. From 1/2 of these, cut out smaller circles.
Place cookies on prepared baking sheets and put in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are firm again.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned. Remove from oven, leave cookies on the sheet for about 3-5 minutes, then carefully remove them from the baking sheet and transfer to large plates.
At this point you can let the cookies cool completely, then store them in an airtight container and decorate the next day. Or let them cool, as you make the royal icing for decorating. Alternately, you can skip the royal icing and assemble the cookies without it, then simply sprinkle with powdered sugar (like linzer cookies).